India Storm into World Cup Final with 70-Run Win Over New Zealand

India put up a dominant display to overcome New Zealand by 70 runs in the first semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. The hosts set a huge target of 397, powered by hundreds from Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer, and then dismissed the visitors for 327 in 48.5 overs, with Mohammed Shami taking a record-breaking 7 for 57.

Score summary:

India 397 for 4 in 50 overs (Kohli 117, Iyer 105, Gill 80; Southee 3-100, Boult 1-86)

– New Zealand 327 all out in 48.5 overs (Mitchell 134, Williamson 69; Shami 7-57)

Player of the match: Mohammed Shami

Some records and milestones achieved:

– India’s total of 397 is the highest in a World Cup semi-final and the third-highest in any World Cup match.

– Kohli scored his fifth century of the tournament, equaling the record of Kumar Sangakkara in 2015. He also became the first batsman to score three consecutive hundreds in World Cup knockout matches.

– Iyer scored his maiden World Cup hundred and his second ODI hundred. He also registered the fastest hundred by an Indian in a World Cup semi-final (70 balls).

– Shami took the best bowling figures by an Indian in a World Cup match and the second-best in any World Cup match. He also became the first bowler to take seven wickets in a World Cup semi-final.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, India got off to a great start with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill adding 76 runs in 10 overs. Rohit fell for 47 off 29 balls, while Gill went on to make a smooth 80 off 66 balls. Kohli then joined Gill and continued his superb form, scoring a splendid 117 off 113 balls, his third hundred in a row. He shared a massive partnership of 189 runs with Iyer, who played a dazzling knock of 105 off 70 balls, his first hundred in a World Cup.

New Zealand’s chase never looked likely, as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Shami was the star of the show, as he ran through their batting line-up with his pace and swing. He dismissed Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, and Rachin Ravindra. Only Daryl Mitchell offered some resistance, scoring a fighting 134 off 119 balls, his second century of the tournament. He shared a 182 runs stand for the third wicket with Kane Williamson, who made 69 off 73 balls. However, their efforts were not enough to prevent India from sealing their place in the final.

India will now face the winner of the second semi-final between Australia and South Africa, which will be played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday. India will be aiming to win their third World Cup title after lifting the trophy in 1983 and 2011.

The Presentation ceremony

India captain Rohit Sharma: “It was a perfect performance from us. We batted brilliantly, and then we bowled superbly. I am very proud of the boys. Virat and Shreyas were outstanding with the bat, and Shami was exceptional with the ball. We are very happy to be in the final, and we hope to continue this form.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson: “It was a tough day for us. We were outplayed by a better team. They batted well and put us under pressure from the start. We tried our best, but it was not enough. Daryl showed some character, but it was too big a target to chase. We have to learn from this and come back stronger.

Player of the match Mohammed Shami: “I am very happy with my performance. It is a dream come true to take seven wickets in a World Cup semi-final. I just focused on bowling in the right areas and getting some movement. The pitch was good for batting, but there was some help for the bowlers as well. I am glad that I could contribute to the team’s victory.

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